Isle of Wight Council to cut jobs

The Isle of Wight Council has joined a plethora of local authorities nationwide by announcing job cuts because of the credit crunch.

A loss in income towards the national concessionary bus fare scheme had left the authority with a £3.7m shortfall, it said, and no choice but to use drastic measures to save costs.

The news comes as Personnel Today reported that HR professionals working in councils must adapt to survive the recession. As several local authorities last week announced further job cuts, the HR profession was identified as being at risk of facing the chop – meaning it must prepare for big changes ahead.

The Isle of Wight Council has just begun the redundancy talks. Chief executive Steve Beynon wrote to every staff member this week to explain the measure and inform them that it will consult fully with staff union Unison.

Beynon said: “The council, in line with many other authorities around the country, has been hit by rising costs, a decline in income, and at a time when the public sector is charged with reducing its costs through ever-challenging efficiency savings.

“While we have more work to do to finalise the details, it is looking likely that we will have to lose up to 135 posts across the authority in this financial year (including those already under way as a result of existing restructure programmes), with a further 70 posts likely… over the next three years,” he said.

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